Australia’s policies towards asylum seekers who arrive in the country by air and seek protection at or before ‘immigration clearance’ at airports have been largely overshadowed by debates over offshore detention, processing, and interdiction policies. Immigration clearance is a physical zone, in these cases, at an airport, that every passenger must pass through before being allowed to enter Australia. Yet, even when asylum seekers who arrive by plane do receive Parliamentary or media attention, it relates generally to the backlog of individuals who have successfully passed through immigration clearance and subsequently lodged an asylum application. A glance at data provided by the Department of Home Affairs (‘DHA’) in Senate Estimates and other contexts seems to suggest that the lack of focus on travellers seeking protection at or before immigration clearance at airports finds at least some support in the smaller number of individuals applying for protection at Australian airports, relative to maritime arrivals. In October 2017, in response to a question by Senator Kim Carr, the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (‘DIBP’) reported that only 10 people had arrived at an international airport and claimed asylum in the first three months of the financial year in 2017 through 2018.
Court of Conscience
Jefferies, R, ‘Data Quality and the Law of Refugee Protection in Australia’ (2019) 13 Court of Conscience 6
Subjects - Topical (LCSH)
Political refugees--Australia; Airports--Security measures--Australia; Australia--Emigration and immigration--Government policy
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